Friday, 15 February 2019

Psychiatry: An Abuse Of Human Rights?

F.E.E.L. - Friends of East End Loonies are hosting an event about the recent Mental Health Act review presented in December 2018 and its disregards to the United Nations' recommendations on the CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).

Friday 22 March 2019, 7-9 pm 
Doors open at 6:30 pm for refreshments
Kingsley Hall Community Centre
 1 Powis Road, London E3 3HJ

 "Psychiatry: An Abuse Of Human Rights?"

Akiko Hart (Chair of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis UK - ISPS UK; English Hearing Voices Network; HV Project Manager, Mind in Camden) 'The Alternative Review'

Dorothy Gould (Survivor Consultant, Researcher and Trainer) 
'The fit between the rights of people with lived experience and the recommendations in the final Mental Health Act Review report'

Liz Brosnan (Survivor Researcher, member of SURE - Service User Research Enterprise, and EURIKHA)
 'The Irish Mental Health Act Review: What happened and whose views got heard?'

The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A
No entrance fee but there will be a collection to cover costs


The Mental Health Act review
The Mental Health Act review was published on 6thDecember 2018. Its aim was to look at how legislation around the Mental Health Act 1983 is used and makes recommendations to government. It was commissioned bythe Tory Government in response to increasing numbers of people being detained under the Act, including disproportionate numbers of black, Asian & ethnic minority people (See

United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
This Convention is an International legal agreement adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to change attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. It is intended to protect the human rights of persons with disabilities,looking at areas where their rights have been violated.The convention covers a wide range of areas including health, employment, personal security & independent living. The UK signed the treaty in 2009. (

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

February Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We hope you are managing well during these cold weeks. 
With Imbolc just gone and the Chinese New Year just started might these be propitious times for positive changes and new beginnings.

January has been an unpredictable month, with several events being canceled or postponed.
Our forthcoming event at Kingsley Hall "Psychiatry: An Abuse Of Human Rights?" has now been re-scheduled to Friday 22nd March 7-9pm. A leaflet that can be printed and circulated will be available soon. Copies will be available at our monthly meeting at LARC on Monday 18th Feb.

In the main time please check out a few notifications to follow and the usual event listing at the bottom of the page. Here a moving post about the power of Love, from Dr Breggin, which deserves the utmost respect for his inspiring work in his whole career
How Love Can Reformat Our Lives
Might your heart always be full of Love to guide you in everyday steps!

- A "Global history of antipsychiatry and mad liberation movements" project by Matthew Smith with a German colleague: " We are particularly interested in associations and archives that have emerged outside of the Anglo-American world." If interested, please contact;  W:

- Our friend Keira Pratt-Boyden information & invite to take part to her research in ‘Mental health activism’:
Dear friends,
First of all, happy new year!
Some of you will have met me and will know that I moved to London in August to pursue a PhD in ‘mental health activism’. I have spent a few months attending different groups and learning about different approaches in London. This email is to explain what I hope to do in the upcoming months and to ask for your permission to be involved 😊

Some of the things I’m interested in for my research are:
-          How people understand ‘mental health’
-          How people support and care for each other outside of services
-          How people resist or try to improve services
-          Whether people engage in alternative treatments/healing methods and how useful they
find them to be.
However, I don’t have any predetermined questions or answers and I am interested in hearing all your thoughts and opinions, and this will also guide my research.
The main research method I use is ‘participant observation’, and this means that getting to know people and observing everyday life is important. The way participant observation works is that I hope to be as involved with various groups and activities as much as I can be, so I can learn from your everyday experiences and perspectives, which also means helping out in various ways I can. Getting people’s consent is also very important to me and to the code of ethics set by my University. With people’s permission, I will take notes from time to time and might also ask to audio record meetings for my own use. I will not quote people directly if they ask me not to. All of my notes will be anonymised (so individuals can’t be identified) and I will only name organisations, groups and locations if given your permission to do so.
Reciprocity is an important part of my research, which means I’d like my research to be as useful to people as possible. Some suggestions are that I give a talk at the end of my research feeding back to the groups I have been working with so that people can reflect on lessons learnt and ‘best practices’ throughout the year (I have until September). Another suggestion is that I write up my main findings in a leaflet to circulate to everyone involved in the research.
I’m open to questions about my research and will try to answer as best I can! Please feel free to email me at or alternatively we can meet face to face
I’d like to thank everyone who has already given their time to talk to me about this important topic. I hope that my findings will work towards advancements in mental health activism and make the work that people do, the support they give each other and the cause more visible.

- Another FEEL esteemed friend, Dr Bob Johnson, latest handout:
            HAND-OUT for the DISPUK annual psychiatry seminar, 8th March 2019
                  how psychiatry cripples doctors
speechless terror
Without symptoms, doctors flounder. If you refuse to tell me about your chest pains, how can you expect me to diagnose your heart disease? Doctors need symptoms the same way bakers need flour. No flour, no bread. No clinical data, no medical care. This clinical predicament happens regularly enough – they’re called “incubation periods” – the disease is impending, but there’s no clinical evidence to diagnose it, yet. Take chest pain caused by pre-shingles, as happened to me – it’s “preherpetic pain” – until the classic spots arrive, you're working in the dark. It cannot be otherwise. Medical thinking cannot even begin, until recognisable symptoms develop – after that, it’s obvious, but never before. So in mental illhealth, when the bit that does the telling, is
on the blink, relevant symptoms are quite simply unavailable, so you can kiss goodbye to successful mental healthcare – doctors are stymied. Doctors are crippled by the very nature of the disease they are being asked to diagnose. We all know that a broken arm means you cannot WRITE. But how many know that a broken mind means you cannot TELL?
the irrefutable brainscan evidence
What’s the evidence? First check out the BRAINSCANS. These days much is made of scientific neurological advance – so put someone (anyone) in a brainscan machine, play them an audio tape of their trauma, the gun shot, the car crash, whatever it was that had traumatised them – and their speech centre and their frontal lobes go off line, they can neither speak nor think about the worst thing that has ever happened to them.
This evidence, unique in all psychiatry, is solid, scientific, REPRODUCIBLE, clinical data – it’s been available since the early 1990s – 25 years – what impact has it had? There are lots of things you can pretend in psychiatry – psychobabble occurs as much, if not more, in “biochemical psychiatry” as elsewhere. But when objective, scientific, reproducible, neuroscan evidence does eventually arrive, who are you to refute it? Bessel van der Kolk called it speechless terror in 1995 – without a workable speech centre, no trauma is available for medical help – doctors are seriously disabled.
clinical evidence
Sufferers can chatter on about everything else, but not the “Base Trauma” – the very essence of mental illhealth. The mind is for sorting things out, thinking things through, talking about solutions – so if none of this works any longer – what are you to do? Only a doctor with insight is going to tease out what you CANNOT tell her/him directly. I show a 1991 video of a prisoner – he didn’t start by saying he couldn’t tell his mother he was an adult. He didn’t know that this was THE problem, so how could he know where to start? The crunch is that when he DOES tell her, his anger, violence, and mental pain evaporates – fabulous. But DSM-psychiatrists see no more reason to pay attention to videod clinical data, than they do to solid scientific brainscan data (or to published, peer reviewed academic papers, see below). Do they really know better?
doctors’ delusions
A friend of mine, a university law lecturer, was asking a consultant psychiatrist why he prescribes four times the accepted maximum drug dosage. The reply stunned him. “Because I’m a consultant psychiatrist – you’re not”. My friend decided not to talk to psychiatrists again – would you? The first pages of Psychological Medicine in 2014 show that by NOT prescribing mis-named “anti-psychotic” drugs, for 20 years, you gain a ninefold REDUCTION of psychotic symptoms. That was published 5 years ago. Where’s the global drug reduction campaign? If doctors continue to ignore such solid scientific evidence in this most prestigious academic journal, what prevents their work (and their reasoning) from being dismissed as mere superstition or witchcraft? If Plan A doesn’t work – just keep repeating Plan A, embroidered with psychobabble, like the UK Prime Minister does with Brexit, embellished there with fake news.
the way forward
We humans use our minds to tell you what’s wrong. However, when trauma disables our speech centres – as brainscans universally prove it does – this channel is blocked, and an alternative clinical approach becomes mandatory. My clinical work indicates that a Base Trauma sits in the centre of the mental furniture, leaking toxins – but, because it can be neither visualised nor talked about, it self-perpetuates. Happily, as the video data shows, by DISEMPOWERING this speechless terror, and its blockage, you can blossom. You (and they) don’t have to believe this – but until you do, it’ll bite you.
Dr Bob Johnson                                      Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Consultant Psychiatrist, (retired) P O Box 49, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 9AA UK
Author – “how Verbal Physiotherapy works” at

2019 LGBT History Month
LGBT History Month takes place every February
This year theme is Peace, Activism and Reconciliation


DeafPlus 4th Annual Deaf Carers Conference - "Dementia" 
Wed 6th February, 10am - 12pm, Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BU. 
Speakers from Alzheimer's Society and Tower Hamlets Carers Centre as well as real life stories of being a carer to someone with Dementia being shared. 
Refreshments will be provided. To register, please contact either Milena or Aiysha: or


Crack-up Comedy Cabaret 
Wednesday, 6 February, from 19:30 to 22:30, The Glory 281 Kingsland Road E2 8AS London
A brand new night of comedy and cabaret in aid of local Hackney mental health charity Core Arts
Brought to you by two queer femme comedienne's Charlie George* and Jennie Falconer.


MHRN Movie Night 
Thu 7 Feb, 7-10pm, 
The Field, 385 Queen's Road, 
New Cross, SE14 5HD
Showing the film 'This Time It's Personal
followed by a debate with Robert Stearn.


Grounded Ecotherapy health and well-being volunteering
Every Friday 10:30am - 3:30pm Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, The Soanes Centre, Southern Grove, E3 4PX
Join the Grounded weekly volunteering day to support the work of The Friends in the Cemetery Park. The wildlife and plant life of the park needs constant care and every Friday volunteers are welcome to drop in for all or part of the day, in this Nature Reserve. Tea, coffee, tools and equipment are supplied. Please wear clothes which you don't mind getting dirty, sturdy shoes, and bring a packed lunch. For info/contact details  here


The Offical Mandela Exhibition ( £8-15)
From Friday 8th February, 26 Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN, London


Central London Bipolar UK Support Group 
Friday 8th Feb 6:30 - 7:45 pm, St Gabriel's Church Hall, Glasgow Terrace, Churchill Gardens, Pimlico, SW1V 3AA 
Dr Rebecca Kelly will be joining the meeting to talk for twenty minutes or-so about the role of psychology in the maintenance and treatment of bipolar disorders with around 40 minutes for a Q&A session. No charge, donations welcome. For more info


Healing Money Wounds - Online PeoplesHub Workshop 
Mon 11 Feb, 11 pm (90 min long). Pay what you can. Sign up here 
Poverty is trauma, and the impact of chronic lack or looming debt can trigger depression, anxiety and anger. 
We are bombarded by messages about money, prosperity, wealth and value while we spend our days tending to the wounds of unbridled capitalism.


Made of Money 
Tue 12th Feb 6-8pm, Islington Town Hall, Upper St, N1 2UD
Talk for Health's February Special will be hosted by Denise Brewster and Priscilla Joseph from Made of Money - a financial wellbeing course that recognises the many aspects of money.
Register here. For more information, or if you can't register on Eventbrite, contact or 07826148461


Survivors' Poetry at the Poetry Cafe 
Thurs Feb 14, 7:30-10:30pm, arrive 7.00pm to sign up for floorspots (1.50 floorspots / 2.50 concessions / 3.50 the full ticket)
The Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9BX
An evening of Poetry and song. MC Dave Russell. 
Featuring guest 'seasoned' poet and erstwhile member of the Survivors' tribe Jessica Lawrence will give a wry look at relationships and love - failed or otherwise! - on Valentines Day.  



'Social/Spiritual gathering' 
Friday 22nd February, Brayford Square Community Hall, E1 
Interested in Spirituality? You are invited to join for an hour of inspired writings and discussion from 5-6pm. After 6, those that want to can come down to the Peacock pub (200 yards down Aylward St.) for further chat and play their WONDERFUL FREE juke box. Those that want to can visit the terrific George Tavern (bottom of Jubilee St) afterwards, easy walking distance, for late night live music. For more info contact Donald Greig Prentice on Website:


The Anatomy of Melancholy Exhibition
16 January - 27 April, Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3BX


Social Care Charging Survey
Following on from the Independent Living Strategy Group "A tax on the need for support?" report into charging for social care  we’d like to get more information on charging and how it is affecting people. Please could people fill in details in the form below. Could you also email us at if you’d be willing to speak to the journalist Frances Ryan about charging and it’s impact on your lives and support.


International Women's Strike on 8 March 2019.

Showcasing the very best of the UK's disability arts scene.
4-16 Mar, Battersea Arts Centre Lavender Hill London SW11 5TN


Mental Capacity Action Day 
Friday 15 March, Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0RN. 
If you'd like to attend, please get in touch with Maya Sooben, Mental Capacity Policy Department, Ministry of Justice. Tel - 0203 334 3127, Email -


Compassionate Mental Health - Safe Spaces for Suffering & Joy 
Mon 1 April, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Kingsley Hall, Bromley-by-Bow, London E3 3HJ 
Changing the script around mental health, challenging stigma and raising expectations. Speakers and facilitators include: Will Hall, Dr Joseph H. Berke, Akiko Hart and core Compassionate mental health team members, Malcolm Stern, Andy Bradley and Brigid Bowen


International #Emerging Proud Day 2019 launch event
Sunday 12 May LIVE online event
Reframing Mental distress as a transformation process 


How To Be Human 
Ruby Wax National Live Tour 
4 June - 15 June 2019, Leicester Square Theatre, London



- Provide Tapering Strips for people who want to withdraw safely from antidepressant drugs

- Increase funding to Children's Mental Health services

- Windrush scandal -
Release Owen Haisley and the 50+ passengers being deported on Tuesday 5th Feb

- Professor Heather Ashton, the true Angel of the North, to be honoured by the UK Government

- Petition: Make DLA/ PIP assessment companies liable for wrongly rejected claims